Course Overview

Students in the Media Literacy, Popular Culture, and Democracy program are enrolled in one course for three college credits: CFE 200: Media Literacy, Popular Culture, and Democracy.

CFE 200: Media Education and Contemporary Culture
Media is teaching us something every day. Media education motivates us to begin understanding what those lessons are. This popular summer program for high school students examines media literacy and popular culture around three themes where youth, schooling, and popular culture intersect: (1) the cultural studies approach to media literacy and popular culture; (2) media representations of identity; and (3) youth’s perspectives on the media and their representation in them. Students develop their analytical skills in cultural studies through readings, class discussions, class debates, film (video) screenings, guest speakers. Individual and group projects will provide the framework for engaging specific topics (advertising, hip-hop culture, skater culture, etc.), texts and cultural forms.

Students will spend additional time each class day working on their writing skills. This time will provide an introduction to the kinds of writing that students will be expected to engage in at the university level. Broadly stated, the goal for the writing component of their Summer College experience is to foster growth in writers by engaging in collaborative strategies to understand and compose complex texts. The course will have a strong emphasis on analysis and reflection as a means of developing a range of writing.

All students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Completion and have the opportunity to request a Syracuse University credit transcript.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how media constructs our identity
  • Explore how power and authority are reinforced through media representations
  • Listen to and engage professional film, documentary, and radio producers
  • Construct your own media text
  • Analyze the relationship between media and U.S. democracy
  • Investigate race, gender, and class through understanding U.S. media representations
  • Enjoy working in teams on projects and class assignments

“I enjoyed the aspects of my academic programs that I liked the most were the discussions we had, they were more than engaging and everyone had something to say. Even people with opposing ideas still felt comfortable enough to share their thoughts and opinions.”

– Summer College – On Campus Media Literacy, Popular Culture, and Democracy student, 2019.

Course Information

Course Prefix and Number: CFE 200

Format: On Campus (at Syracuse University)

Eligibility: Students must be of rising high school junior, or senior status – or a 2024 high school graduate. 

Credit: 3 credits

Grading: A-F


  • Residential: $7,495
  • Commuter: $5,635

Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees. Discounts and scholarships are also available.

Program Information

Summer College – On Campus: Experience what college is really like: take a college-level course, live in a residence hall, have meals with friends in a dining hall, and participate in activities and events on campus.

Course Dates and Details

ProgramCourse Dates Class Time (Eastern Time)Credit/NoncreditStatus
Summer College – On Campus 4-Week Session: Monday, July 8 – Friday, Aug. 2, 2024MTWThF
10 a.m. – Noon
& 2 – 4 p.m.
3 creditsOpen

Course Requirements

Required Supplies

Students should budget for required textbooks and supplies.

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

Regular classes are Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. – Noon and 2- 4 p.m. Fridays are used as a time to socialize so that we can get to know each other better. Strong relationships are cultivated through engaging in nonacademic activities such as having pizza parties, going on field trips, and listening to guest speakers.

When class is over, and on weekends, students can look forward to various Summer College – On Campus activities to meet and connect with other students! Check out our On Campus Experience page for more information!

Faculty Bios

Dr. Jeff Mangram- Associate Professor

Having taught Social Studies to middle and high school students in both private and public schools for the last twenty-five years, Dr. Jeffery A. Mangram is a veteran teacher who teaches at both Manlius Pebble Hill School (independent school) and in the School of Education at Syracuse University, where he is an Associate Professor of Social Studies Education.
Dr. Mangram received his B.A. (Policy Studies/Political Science), M.A. (Social Studies Education) and Ph.D. (Teaching and Curriculum) from Syracuse University. His dissertation, “Struggles over Meaning: Social Studies Teachers’ Perspectives of Media and Popular Culture” received the Syracuse University School of Education Outstanding Dissertation Award in 2006. His doctoral research revolved around the question of how social studies teachers thought about, negotiated, and used popular culture and media in the personal lives and in their pedagogical practices.

As a master teacher and scholar, Dr. Mangram presents at conferences and workshops across the U.S. He has presented at the American Education Research Association on a number of occasions, focusing on media education, high leverage pedagogical strategies, and issues related to urban education. In addition, Dr. Mangram is a sought after public speaker who has engaged audience at the local, state and national levels around a variety of issues including racial reconciliation and educational equity. He recently presented on active learning strategies at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya.

Another of Dr. Mangram’s notable accomplishments was that he was a member of the 1987 S.U. football team which went undefeated and played in the 1988 Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Lastly, Dr. Mangram was selected to the 2015 Glynn County Sports Hall of Fame for his athletic accomplishments as well has his academic and scholarly endeavors.